Growth in cross-country program bodes well for MHS results

Six returning seniors and letterwinners will lead the Marion High cross-country team. Pictured are: (from left) Tacy Taylor, Jaclyn DeForest, Brooke Johnson, Camille Christen?sen. Not pictured: Ryan Jones, Louis Holt. Andrew Ottoson.


Having seen her teams grow from 14 to 22 runners after one season at the helm, Marion cross-country coach Bethany Carlson has reason to be optimistic.

The girls? team has grown from six to 10 and will be led by Camille Christensen (personal record 15 minutes 59 seconds), a junior who finished fourth at the Mid-Central Activities Associa?tion league meet, eighth at the regional meet and 21st at the Class 3A state meet a year ago.

?Camille has been battling some leg soreness, but hopefully will be a strong competitor at the end of the season,? Carlson said.

Junior Amanda Richmond, listed second on the Warriors? depth chart, is in her first season with the team and will split time with the volleyball squad.

?I?m happy to have her,? Carlson said. ?I?m expecting great things from her.?

Tacy Taylor (16:49), the only senior girl, finished 13th in the league meet and 18th at regionals.

?I?m looking for her to provide leadership, and the other four varsity runners will need to step up if we want to be a competitive team,? Carlson said.

Those four are sophomores Jaclyn DeForest (17th at league), Brooke Johnson (29th at league), Bridgett Lundy and Danae Edwards.

?We?ll be looking for Brooke and Jaclyn to improve on their personal bests this year,? Carlson said.

Lundy and Edwards are both in their first year with the team.

The junior varsity girls? squad has three first-year members: Lucy Collett, Shayla Rahe and Katie Maag.

For the boys, a pair of sophomore letter-winners hold the top spots. Ryan Jones (18:41) placed 17th at league and Louis Holt (18:27) finished 19th.

?Our boys team should be strong,? Carlson said. ?Several of them logged miles over the summer, and that will pay off this season.?

Junior Elliot Hett and sophomores Isaac Hett and Brady Hudson are all new to the program.

?We lost four seniors last year, but we may have improved as a team,? Carlson said. ?Now we have a group of young guys who will run more or less together, and that will make them all stronger.?

Rounding out the top seven on the boys? squad are Brandon Meierhoff and Marshall Ragland. An incoming freshman, Meierhoff was with the program as an eighth-grader. Ragland finished 27th in the league JV race last year.

The 2007 boys? JV team so far consists of four freshmen and senior Swedish exchange student Olle Gemfors. Corey Seacat, Michael Kirkpatrick, Derek Stuchlik and Adam Mollekar are all new to the program.

?Corey and Michael are both right there with our sixth- and seventh-place runners, and could finish with the varsity week to week,? Carlson said. ?It?s good to have your JV pushing the varsity runners like that. Nobody wants to lose their spot.?

The Warriors? first competition of the season will be Thursday at Abilene. Races begin at 4 p.m.

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